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Stealing to Survive? Crime and Income Shocks in Nineteenth Century France

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  • Vincent Bignon
  • Eve Caroli
  • Roberto Galbiati

Abstract

Using local administrative data from 1826 to 1936, we document the evolution of crime rates in nineteenth century France and we estimate the impact of a negative income shock on crime. Our identification strategy exploits the phylloxera crisis. Between 1863 and 1890, phylloxera destroyed about 40% of French vineyards. We use the geographical variation in the timing of this shock to identify its impact on property and violent crime rates, as well as minor offences. Our estimates suggest that the phylloxera crisis caused a substantial increase in property crime rates and a significant decrease in violent crimes.
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Suggested Citation

  • Vincent Bignon & Eve Caroli & Roberto Galbiati, 2017. "Stealing to Survive? Crime and Income Shocks in Nineteenth Century France," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(599), pages 19-49, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:599:p:19-49
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.2017.127.issue-599
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jeborg:v:158:y:2019:i:c:p:110-127 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pamfili Antipa & Vincent Bignon, 2018. "Whither Economic History? Between Narratives and Quantification," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 17-36.
    3. repec:taf:jdevst:v:54:y:2018:i:10:p:1891-1911 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Grosfeld, Irena & Sakalli, Seyhun Orcan & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2017. "Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Russian Empire," CEPR Discussion Papers 12154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Masahiro Shoji, 2018. "Religious Fractionalisation and Crimes in Disaster-Affected Communities: Survey Evidence from Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(10), pages 1891-1911, October.
    6. repec:oup:ereveh:v:21:y:2017:i:1:p:1-28. is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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